Marlins 5, Brewers 3, 10 innings
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Damion Easley isn’t used to success as a pinch hitter.
Easley was 1-for-40 in his career as a pinch hitter (.043) before he sent reliever Ben Hendrickson’s pitch down the right-field line.
“I managed to get good enough wood on it, and things worked out,” Easley said. “This was huge because we need to come off this trip with more wins than losses. And it’s not going to get any easier.”
Alex Gonzalez reached on an error by second baseman Bill Hall leading off the ninth. Juan Pierre stopped an 0-for-18 slide with a one-out RBI triple off Dan Kolb and Castillo bounced a single over a drawn-in infield.
Hendrickson (0-5), a starter brought up from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game, walked Juan Encarnacion with two outs in the 10th, then allowed a single to Alex Gonzalez and the double to Easley, who was batting for Rudy Seanez (1-0).
“What are you going to do?” Davis said. “A double down the line that barely made it down the line—it was not like he came out and got raked. It’s just a learning experience.”
Hendrickson, who arrived in Milwaukee about two hours before the game, said it was the first time he has relieved since high school.
“The adrenaline took over once I got out there,” he said. “I left a couple of curveballs up, and they just took advantage of them.”
Armando Benitez pitched a perfect 10th, striking out two, for his 34th save in 37 chances.
Kolb, who entered in the eighth, was trying for his first multi-inning save this season. He has blown three saves in 36 chances.
Beckett, 0-4 in seven starts since beating Houston on May 20, allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Beckett, who has been on the disabled list three times this year, struck out five and walked three.
Davis tied his career high with nine strikeouts and allowed five hits. He was trying for his 11th win, which would match his high in a season.
Russell Branyan homered on Beckett’s first pitch of the second inning, a 458-foot drive to center that hit just below the “5” inning marker on the scoreboard. It was the fourth-longest homer in Miller Park history. Branyan also has the longest, a 480-footer off Chicago’s Greg Maddux on July 27.
“He’s more comfortable right now,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “Guys like that, every once in a while they just find it and get in a good groove.”
Hall hit an RBI single with two outs in the fourth. Branyan, who has four homers in 33 at-bats with the Brewers, doubled to lead off the sixth, took third on a throwing error by Encarnacion in right and scored on Geoff Jenkins’ single.
Florida moved to .500 (58-58) and is 4 1/2 games back in the wild-card card.
“We’re still in this thing,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said.
Milwaukee has not won a series since sweeping the Chicago Cubs July 5-7. The Brewers last beat the Marlins in series in April 2000.
“Not to take anything away from Milwaukee, but they are a team you have to beat,” Pierre said.
Florida is a major-league best 22-12 in day games. … Milwaukee optioned LHP Jorge de la Rosa to Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to make room for Hendrickson. De la Rosa made his major league debut Saturday night against the Marlins, giving up four runs and six hits in five innings. … LHP Mike Kusiewicz, a Class A pitcher for Milwaukee, is on Canada’s Olympic team.